Friday May 30, 2014

Notifications for Expiring DBSNMP Passwords

Most user accounts these days have a password profile on them that automatically expires the password after a set number of days.   Depending on your company’s security requirements, this may be as little as 30 days or as long as 365 days, although typically it falls between 60-90 days. For a normal user, this can cause a small interruption in your day as you have to go get your password reset by an admin. When this happens to privileged accounts, such as the DBSNMP account that is responsible for monitoring database availability, it can cause bigger problems.

In Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c you may notice the error message “ORA-28002: the password will expire within 5 days” when you connect to a target, or worse you may get “ORA-28001: the password has expired".  If you wait too long, your monitoring will fail because the password is locked out. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could get an alert 10 days before our DBSNMP password expired? Thanks to Oracle Enterprise Manager12c Metric Extensions (ME), you can! See the Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control Administrator’s Guide for more information on Metric Extensions.

[Read More]

Thursday May 15, 2014

Whitepaper: Best Practices for Managing Siebel Configurations

Contributing Author: Eunjoo Lee, Principal Product Manager, Oracle

The Oracle Enterprise Manager Applications Management team is pleased to announce the release of their latest whitepaper (available here) and associated screenwatch (available here) on configuration management for Siebel.

The task of managing configuration parameters in a dynamic, multi-target environment can be extremely challenging. A large, production scale environment can have dozens of unique targets, and each target can have several hundred different configuration parameters.

Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c, with the Siebel Plug-in, provides advanced, out-of-the-box tools to manage the complexity of Siebel configuration management. Oracle Enterprise Manager has advanced configuration capture, change detection, and comparison reporting capabilities that can dramatically reduce the amount of time that System Administrators spend on configuration management.

The purpose of the whitepaper and screenwatch is to provide customers with details on Oracle’s Best Practices for managing Siebel Configurations. It addresses several key areas including;

  • Understanding comparison templates in Oracle Enterprise Manager
  • Creating configuration templates for Siebel servers, components groups, and components
  • Using configuration templates to compare Siebel servers
  • Analysis of configuration comparison results
  • Using configuration templates for Siebel patch analysis

The benefits of using configuration templates to manage Siebel applications are substantial, and include:

  • Easily compare configuration parameters for targets within a Siebel Enterprise, or between two different Siebel Enterprises
  • Easily compare configuration parameters for a Siebel target against a gold standard or baseline.
  • Define comparison reports once and re-run multiple times

We hope this white paper and screenwatch help to provide you with a good starting point to manage your Siebel Application configurations more efficiently and pro-actively.


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Monday May 12, 2014

Quickly Diagnose the Root Cause of Stuck Threads using Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c JVM Diagnostics

Note: Clicking on any image will open the same image in full size in a new window

One of the hidden gems in Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c is JVM Diagnostics. If you purchased the Weblogic Management Pack license then you already own it. JVMD allows administrators to diagnose performance problems in production Java applications. By eliminating the need to reproduce these “production only” problems in QA, it reduces the time required to resolve them. It does not require complex instrumentation or restarting of the application to get in-depth application details. Application administrators will be able to identify Java problems or database issues that are causing application downtime without any detailed knowledge of the application internals. It is also very well suited to diagnosing issues with “Stuck Threads” which will be the focus of this blog.

What is a [STUCK] Thread

In a Weblogic server, all incoming requests are handled by a thread pool which is controlled by a work manager. Worker threads that are taken out of the pool and not returned after a specified time period are marked as [STUCK] by the work manager. This time period is 10 minutes by default but it is configurable on a per work manager basis using the "StuckThreadMaxTime" parameter (default is set to 600 seconds).

Note that it is possible that some of your threads are doing legitimate work for over 10 min with no issues. If you have such threads then you should consider placing them in a another work manager with proper setting for the "StuckThreadMaxTime" parameter

Why JVMD is Well Suited to Diagnosing [STUCK] Threads

Traditionally, developers will use a stack trace generated by jstack or kill -3 and try to determine the cause of a stuck thread. However, in my experience a majority of the time this stack is not even the culprit. The problem often lies in another tier of the application or even in another thread of the same application. JVMD has the ability to provide additional context such as the name of the request and which tier it called out to Eg: RDBMS servers, LDAP servers, Web servers, RMI servers, etc. Using fine grained thread states (i.e. DB, Network, IO, CPU, RMI, Lock, etc) and the ability to see additional details about the thread, JVMD users can quickly pinpoint the root cause of the problem. Since JVMD is always on, it can also debug these issues that happened in the past and can proactively notify you about stuck threads Eg: Get an email at 1am when you had stuck threads. And lastly, sometimes developers have no access to the target host due to lack of credentials needed to run command line applications.

On several occasions, the thread may be stuck but is doing legitimate work. In such scenarios JVMD allows you to scan back and forth through a large number of samples to see what work is being processed by the thread. In addition, you can take a look at other threads that were serviced the same request to see if they behaved similarly or not. This will allow you to quickly determine whether there is really a problem or not.

Real-Time [STUCK] Thread Analysis

With JVMD there are two real use cases for stuck thread analysis. If you get notified about a stuck thread in real-time (via email, etc) then you can perform a real-time stuck thread analysis. Alternatively, if you are investigating a thread that was stuck in the past but is not present any more, then you can perform a historical stuck thread analysis. In either case the first thing to do is to navigate to the JVM (or JVM pool) where the thread is stuck. We do this by clicking on Targets -> Middleware as shown

From here we can filter the list of targets by target type or by target name. Your most recent filter request will be remembered the next time you visit the page. Select the Target Type of JVM to see all of the JVM targets.

Pick the JVM for the Weblogic server which is having the stuck thread issues and click on it. This will take you to the target home page. Click the button at the top that says “Live Thread Analysis”. Type the word "stuck" into the thread name search box and click on the arrow to filter the table. Now you should see all the stuck threads. In this case we can see a thread that is stuck in the “Network Wait” state. It is stuck on line 358 in function writeBuffer() of OutputRecord.java which is in package com.sun.ssl.internal.ssl which makes it clear that this stuck thread has made an SSL call and the remote server has not responded in a reasonable amount of time so the client thread is stuck.

Here is another example of stuck threads, this time in the “DB Wait” state. Notice how the tool tip over the SQL ID field shows the SQL being executed. Click on it to view longer SQL statements. Also try clicking on the DB Wait link which takes you directly to this specific database session in the Oracle Database Diagnostics section of EM for further analysis. The columns displayed are controlled by “View” drop-down menu. Here we added the “User” column to show the logged in user who executed the request.

Historical [STUCK] Thread Analysis

In order to start historical stuck thread analysis you need to navigate to the JVM target home page in the same way as discussed in the real-time section. From the target home page clicking on the “JVM Performance Diagnostics” button at the top of the page. On the performance diagnostics page you can filter the data to make it more relevant to your task. The first filter to apply is of time. If you know the exact time you can use the “Edit Date and Time” button to specify it as shown. Otherwise use the handy shortcut links for Day, 1 Hours, 1 Hour or 15 Minutes as needed.

The next thing to filter is the Thread Name. Expand the filter options region if necessary and add the Thread Name filter to be “[STUCK]*” so you only see threads whose name starts with [STUCK]

Below the filter region the “General” tab will show you the Thread States, Top Requests, Top Methods, Top SQLs, Top DB Wait Events and Top Databases – only for the filtered data i.e. for only threads that are stuck. Try clicking on method names to see the call stack for the method. The charts are all interactive and fetch additional data about the item clicked.

If you want to find a specific thread move from the “General” tab over to the “Threads” tab. This is fine grained data with each sample and state transition visible. You can click on any sample to view it in the sample analyzer which should look familiar to you if you saw the threads in real-time. Details about SQLs, Wait states, etc are all available here also along with the complete call stack which can also be exported to a CSV file.

In conclusion, we can see the JVMD provides a rich set of additional details which are only a mouse click away that help you to diagnose the root causes of your stuck threads.

NOTE: Many of the screen shots taken here are using testing & debug code, which deliberately tries to create stuck threads. This does not and should not reflect on the nature of any Oracle products being shipped to customers.


Thursday Apr 24, 2014

The case for Snap Clone over point tools

Today, I stumbled over a competitor blog, conspicuous by its factual incorrectness on Enterprise Manager Snap Clone. However, I must compliment the author of the blog, because inadvertently, he has raised a point that we have been highlighting all along. The author, with reference to Dataguard and storage technologies, argues against the cobbling of technologies together and adding another technology stack to the mix without any automated management

Precisely the point! In the wide realm of technologies, there are necessities and there are accessories aka nice-to-haves. The necessities are technologies that are needed anyway, such as a high fidelity, high performance storage from a reputed vendor or a good DR solution for a mission critical database environment. Similarly, for any Oracle DBA worth his/her salt, Enterprise Manager 12c is a necessity, a part of the daily life. The Enterprise Manager agent, keeping vigil on every host, is therefore not an overhead, but the representative (the "agent" in true sense) of the DBA. Deep diagnostics, performance management, large scale configuration management, patching and compliance management make Enterprise Manager the darling of any Oracle DBA. All surveys suggest that any DBA spends considerable amount of time in Enterprise Manager for performing things beyond just data cloning, so why invest in an accessory for the cloning of Oracle test databases and unnecessarily proliferate the number of point tools (and possibly several instances of them) that you need to manage and maintain, not to ignore the past history that cites that very few such point tools solved customers' CAPEX and OPEX problems over the long run. It is like using spreadsheet for expenses and ERP for all other financial tasks.This is not to suggest that these point tools do not have good, innovative features. Over my tenure in the industry, I have come across several such tools with nice features, but often the hidden costs outweigh the benefits. Our position in this aspect has been consistent, whether it is on a competitor’s tool or our own. Few years back, we integrated My Oracle Support into Enterprise Manager with the same consistent goal that Enterprise Manager will serve as the single pane of glass for the Oracle ecosystem. Same has been our position on any product that we acquire.

Snap Clone's support for Dataguard and native storage stems from popular customer demand to leverage technologies they already invested in, and not create standalone islands of automation. Moreover, several customers have voiced in favor of the performance and scalability advantages that they would get by leveraging the native storage APIs. How else would you support one of the world's largest banks, a Snap Clone customer, who performs 60,000 (sixty thousand) data refreshes per year! In any case, that should not imply that we bind ourselves to any of those technologies. We do support cloning on various storage systems based on ZFS filesystem. Similarly, the Test Master refresh can be achieved with one among RMAN, Dataguard, Golden Gate or storage replication and optionally orchestrated with EM Job System.

Enterprise Manager 12c has taken a great step in delivering features via plugins that can be revisioned independent of the framework. An unwanted side effect is that the awareness often lags what is actually supported in the latest version of the product. For example, the filesystem support was introduced last Fall. And of course Enterprise Manager 12c Snap Clone supports RAC. My esteemed colleague and DBA par excellence, in her blog has highlighted some of these to dispel some of the prevalent awareness issues. Snap Clone's usage among the E-Business Suite and Developer community does not need any special accreditation. It is heavily used by the world's largest E-Business Suite Developer community-the Oracle E-Business Suite Engineering organization itself! It is true that Snap Clone does not support  restoration to any arbitrary point in time, but then our customers and prospects have not voiced a need for it. In reality, most customers want to perform intermediate data transformation such as masking and subsetting as they clone from production to test, and Enterprise Manager 12c already boasts of sophisticated data masking technologies, again via the same interface. It also includes testing features like Real Application Testing (RAT) that can complement and follow the test database creation. Future releases of Enterprise Manager will support a tighter integration among these features.

Snap Clone is delivered as a part of the Database as a Service feature set that has been pioneering, industry-leading and getting adopted at a great pace. Little wonder that we have already received a copious amount of Openworld paper submissions on the topic. In this emerging trend of DBaaS adoption, we find no reason to fragment the tasks such as fresh database creation, pluggable database provisioning and cloning across silo'ed point tools (not to mention broader PaaS capabilities which may be needed for complete application testing). Each use case could be different but needs a single service delivery platform. EM12c is that platform for Oracle. Period. So, think twice before 'adding another technology to the mix'. You do not need to.

Tuesday Apr 22, 2014

After the Conference: Enterprise Manager at Collaborate14

Attendees at the Collaborate14 User Conference held in Las Vegas earlier this month were offered fantastic opportunities to hone their expertise in Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c (EM) while building a network with increasing numbers of IT professionals focusing their passions around EM.  These pros seek to take advantage of EM’s ability in a quest to reduce downtime, improve staff productivity, reduce capital expenditures and increase IT agility while lowering the cost of managing IT.

There was certainly a lot from which to choose, as I reported in my prior blog.   After getting back from the conference and attending several of those sessions, it seemed as if EM was everywhere!  Well over fifty Collaborate14 lectures, workshops, expert sessions and quick-tip sessions featuring EM exclusively or significantly were delivered.  Most of the sessions were given by partners and customers, all of whom desire to share their significant EM expertise with others. 

On pre-conference Monday, the three hands-on workshops (Cloud Odyssey, Oracle Database  Lifecycle Management and Application Management for Oracle EBS) were fun and deeply educational, proving you had to be there in order to appreciate fully.  And the conference sessions were well attended both in person and online, covering the waterfront in terms of effectively managing the enterprise.

Just some of the focus areas:

  • Techniques and best practices to monitor and manage the IT environment effectively through the use of the EM framework and through EMCLI
  • Deep-dives into Oracle Database 12c in diagnosing, tuning and managing the lifecycle of Oracle Database 12c
  • How to provide and manage Oracle in the cloud, specifically in the area of Database as a Service (DBaaS) and quick provisioning of the storage it goes with
  • Advanced management of Oracle Applications

I would be remiss to not mention the new Special Interest Groups (SIGs) formed or being formed around Enterprise Manager.  In addition to the networking opportunities and the one-to-one best practice sharing that naturally occurs when like-minded folks get together, SIGs work to enhance critical skills and foster professional growth.  Make sure you sign up for them so you don’t miss out on the events being planned.  At the conference:

  • IOUG’s rapidly growing Enterprise Manager SIG drew at least fifty at their “Birds of a Feather” meeting.  Request to join this SIG here.  More info about this SIG and how to join it is at the IOUG Enterprise Manager SIG Community site.
  • The IOUG Cloud Computing SIG, considered a companion to EM since it prominently features it, had a good crowd.  Find out more at the IOUG Cloud Computing SIG.
  • An inaugural OAUG Enterprise Manager for Oracle Applications SIG formation meeting had significant attendance and interest.  Look for more about this SIG and how to participate in it in a future post. 

Wire-to-wire it was well worth it, and next year it will be even more so.  Until that time, expect to hear a lot from the regional user groups and the SIGs about EM.

Monday Apr 21, 2014

Leveraging Target Properties to Enhance Enterprise Manager Capabilities

Do you still maintain a spreadsheet with Database or Server contact or business unit ownership?  In Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c (EM) Target Properties allow you to store descriptive target information, such as Contact or Location, which can then be used in dynamic/administration group definition, reports, incident rules and notifications.   This blog will show you how you can better leverage the features of EM to store your configuration data and utilize it to the fullest extent. 

The out-of-the-box target properties include: 

  • Contact
  • Cost Center
  • Customer Support Identifier
  • Department
  • Life Cycle Status (Development, Test, Staging, Mission Critical, Production)
  • Line of Business
  • Location
  • Operating System – populated by collected configuration data
  • Platform Target Type – populated by collected configuration data
  • Target Version – populated by collected configuration data

[Read More]

Wednesday Apr 16, 2014

RMAN Backups using Cloud Control

Friends, a technical article was recently published on the Oracle Technical Network:

Back Up a Thousand Databases Using Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c

This detailed technical article explains the set up and scheduling of full and incremental RMAN Database backups for  thousands of databases using Enterprise Manager 12c, and how this is done more easily and efficiently than the older, more time-consuming, manual method of performing Unix shell scripting, RMAN scripting, and CRON jobs for each database to be backed up.

And with the Database Group Backup feature new to Enterprise Manager 12c, it can be even faster to set up RMAN backups for multiple databases - even if there are thousands - that are part of an Enterprise Manager Database Group (one kind of target group).


The article also highlights the advantages of using Pluggable Databases (PDBs) in Oracle Database 12c and backing them up using RMAN. RMAN cannot backup individual schemas, and it has always been difficult to perform point-in-time-recovery (PITR) at an individual schema level, since schemas can easily be distributed across multiple tablespaces. The advantage in using PDBs in a Container Database is that you can easily set up RMAN backups at the Container Database level, and yet perform PITR at the PDB level. This is a clear technical advantage of the Multi-tenant architecture of Oracle Database 12c.

The set up and scheduling of RMAN database backups forms a part of the Base Database Management features of Enterprise Manager that enables numerous customers to get familiar with the day-to-day use of Enterprise Manager 12c. The full list of Base Database Management features can be found in the Enterprise Manager Licensing Information guide here.

In fact I had personally introduced Enterprise Manager to one of India’s largest financial services organizations in India in 2007 for the purpose of their RMAN backups, they started using it for the first time, and today we are proud to say that they are an Enterprise Manager reference customer who have presented in OOW for the last 2 years. The following slide is from their recent OOW presentation.


One thing I forgot to include in the article (and yes, it is a long article) was on reporting of the RMAN backups. A few readers asked me that question after the article’s publication, both inside and outside Oracle.

I told them that if they were using an RMAN catalog, the catalog would have this information and could easily be queried. If they were not using a catalog, then this backup information would be stored in the control file, and they would have to query each database’s control file (using V$ views) to get the backup report. BI Publisher, installed as an add-on to Enterprise Manager, could be used for this purpose. However note that if BI Publisher is used to query information from a source other than the Enterprise Manager repository database, a license is payable for each database it accesses.

Read the full article at “Back Up a Thousand Databases Using Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c”, and enjoy the world of Oracle Enterprise Manager.

Regards,

Porus Homi Havewala (OCM 11g/10g).

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Tuesday Apr 08, 2014

Consolidated Database Replay: Playing Nice Together

Here is a great article from resident Oracle ACE, Arup Nanda, who details insight into predicting the impact of consolidating separate database workloads into one. The article outlines a typical consolidation scenario and explains how Oracle Real Application Testing's Consolidated Database Replay capabilities can help measure the impact of the workload consolidation. A must read for those considering a consolidation project in the near future. Read the article.


Database work load patterns of two applications.


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Friday Apr 04, 2014

Webcast: Database Cloning in Minutes using Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Database as a Service Snap Clone

April 10 — 7:00 a.m. PT | 10:00 a.m. ET | 4:00 p.m. CET
April 24 — 10:00 a.m. PT | 1:00 p.m. ET
May 8 — 7:00 a.m. PT | 10:00 a.m. ET | 4:00 p.m. CET
May 22 — 10:00 a.m. PT | 1:00 p.m. ET

Since the demands from the business for IT services is non-stop, creating copies of production databases in order to develop, test and deploy new applications can be labor intensive and time consuming. Users may also need to preserve private copies of the database, so that they can go back to a point prior to when a change was made in order to diagnose potential issues. Using Snap Clone, users can create multiple snapshots of the database and “time travel” across these snapshots to access data from any point in time.

Join us for an in-depth technical webcast and learn how Oracle Cloud Management Pack for Oracle Database's capability called Snap Clone, can fundamentally improve the efficiency and agility of administrators and QA Engineers while saving CAPEX on storage. Benefits include:

  • Agile provisioning (~ 2 minutes to provision a 1 TB database)
  • Over 90% storage savings
  • Reduced administrative overhead from integrated lifecycle management

Register Now!


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Wednesday Apr 02, 2014

Cloud Odyssey in London

The Cloud Odyssey event happened in London recently. Here is the Storify from the event. Enjoy!

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Tuesday Apr 01, 2014

Managing Pluggable Database as a Service: Questions and Answers

Since the launch of Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Release 3, we have received tons of questions around managing Oracle Multitenant, an Oracle Database 12c Enterprise Edition option, and pluggable databases (PDBs)—more specifically; questions about pluggable database as a service (PDBaaS). In this blog, we provide answers to some of the common questions from people.

Question: What qualifies a database to be pluggable?
Answer: A pluggable database must be a current Oracle Database 12c database, configured for multitenant through a new enterprise edition option called Oracle Multitenant. It delivers a new architecture that allows a multitenant container database (CDB) to hold many pluggable databases (PDBs). An Oracle Database in the old architecture (a “non-CDB”) may be upgraded to the multitenant architecture via a simple process known as “adopting the non-CDB as a PDB”. A PDB is a self-contained, fully functional Oracle Database, and includes its own system, sysaux and user tablespaces. You can learn more about Oracle Multitenant and pluggable database in this whitepaper.

Can the pluggable databases be plugged and unplugged across multiple platforms such as Solaris, AIX, and Linux?
The pluggable database must be endian compatible. Cross endian operations require OGG, Data pump or restore from backup.

In terms of database consolidation, what are the differences between using VMs, dedicated schemas and pluggable databases?
To describe the advantages of using pluggable database vs. other consolidation methods, it can be best illustrated in a simply comparison table.


Comparison of Database as a Service Consolidation Models

Pluggable database combines the best of all the other models and offers excellent consolidation, isolation, manageability and is suitable for any application that is certified to run on Oracle Database 12c. With the other models, we see certain shortcomings. For example, server virtualization offers good isolation but creates compliance and administrative headaches. Schema based consolidation offers ease of management and patching, but limited isolation.

How do you track configuration drift with a pluggable database? I certainly understand drift in the container database, but in what ways would a pluggable database drift from its standard baseline?
This pertains to Configuration Drift Tracking via Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c. One can compare any two Enterprise Manager targets or a complete system such as an Oracle Exadata Database Machine. When you compare at the PDB level, they can differ in the tablespace names, the storage settings of tablespace with same name, or users, etc. Using Oracle Enterprise Manager to track drift, it is particularly useful in comparing difference in your development, testing, and production environments. It is even useful for comparing your standby systems to set standards for compliance requirements.

What is a zone? Is it physical? Regional?
The Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Cloud resource model involves pooling the same target types where it’s combining similar hosts, databases, hardware or other similar resources in to a zone. Zones can therefore be defined by the boundary of the Cloud and exposed through Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c’s self-service portal. In terms of the pluggable database as a service model, you can create Oracle Multitenant container databases and group them to form a database pool that users can then draw from. When the self-service user provisions a pluggable database, they need to simply specify the Zone where they want to deploy. Internally, Oracle Enterprise Manager uses load or configuration driven algorithms to place the PDB in the right CDB.

What will be the DBA and SYSADMIN role in the pluggable DBaaS environment?
With pluggable databases you have common users and local users as well as common roles and associated privileges and local roles and associated privileges. You can isolate user/role/privilege to the PDB by defining only local user/role/privilege. To leverage the manage many as one, you would define common user/role/privilege to act on all PDBs or a subset of PDBs where the common user has create session privileges within the PDB. You would define DBA roles and SYSADMIN roles based on common and/or local user roles.

What if you need custom configurations on a pluggable database? Once the database is deployed via self-service how do you make changes?
Some parameters are modifiable at the PDB level. You would check v$parameter ISPDB_MODIFIABLE value to determine what can be changed. Some customization can be done at the CDB level; however, they would affect all PDBs for that CDB. Oracle Enterprise Manager’s self-service provides a TNS Connect string to connect to the PDB with the right privilege and execute “ALTER SYSTEM” for the parameters that are permissible to change.

If I'm an application developer and I request a database with a certain pre-defined service level, what level of permissions should I expect with that database? Am I getting DBA or SYSDBA privileges with that request?
It depends on what was negotiated as part of the service definition and associated user/role/privileges defined for that service.

Are the pluggable database as a service capabilities for Oracle Database 12c included in Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c? Do we need a plug-in? Do we need to license Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Database Management Packs?
You need the Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c database and cloud plug-ins. License-wise; the self-service provisioning from Oracle Enterprise Manager is licensed as part of Cloud Management Pack for Database. The Oracle Multitenant option must be licensed if two or more PDBs are plugged into a single CDB.
Watch this short demo called “Using Pluggable Database as a Service (PDBaaS) Self-Service Portal” for a better understanding of deploying PDBaaS using Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c.

Which Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Management Packs are required to be able to provide DBaaS?
You need the Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Cloud Management Pack for Database and Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Lifecycle Management Pack for Database to do database as a service. Both of which must be licensed.

If you have shared memory and background processes in the container database, how do you allocate server resources to a particular pluggable database? Can you assign specific amount of CPU cycles, RAM and IOPS for a given pluggable database?
SQL execution is scoped to the PDB as identified by the con_id created during session create. In Oracle Database 12c, Resource Manager (RM) has been extended to include support for Oracle Multitenant. Policies may be defined at the PDB level in terms of the simple-yet-powerful concepts of “caps” and “shares” to determine the allocation of resources between PDBs. In this way, resource manager can control allocation of CPU, sessions and parallel execution servers. Additionally, on Oracle Exadata, Resource Manager can also manage IO and network. Memory management currently is implicitly managed through SGA LRU algorithms and CPU share management.

What is the largest number of pluggable databases you can deploy on Oracle Exadata?
Currently the PDB limit per CDB is 252 PDBs. In Oracle Real Application Clusters environments such as Oracle Exadata, the density of PDB consolidation greatly increases as you may have multiple CDBs per physical server and 252 PDBs per CDB. The maximum limit would be bound by compute resource constraints/limits. And as mentioned in the question on Zone, Oracle Enterprise Manager gives an ability to combine multiple CDBs into a Pool and handle transparent placement. The Oracle Enterprise Manager self-service user therefore won’t be exposed to the underlying limit.

Can I use pluggable database as a service if the target database is 9i or 10g?
You would need to migrate the Oracle Database 9i, 10g and 11g databases to Oracle Database 12c non-CDB and convert them into pluggable databases. The architectural changes within Oracle Database 12c are not backward compatible.

Can Active Data Guard be configured for selective pluggable databases from a container database? I do not want all pluggable databases to have a standby.
In the current release, Oracle Active Data Guard operates at the container level, however, PDB annotations are tagged in the redo stream, so PDB operations on the primary are reflected on the standby.

Does RMAN support pluggable databases?
Scheduled backups are at the CDB layer and include all PDBs. Ad-hoc backups can be executed on individual PDBs. Individual PDBs can be restored from backup.

For complete details of managing pluggable database as a service, be sure to watch this webcast: Delivering Pluggable Database as a Service

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Monday Mar 31, 2014

Munhowen to Reduce Maintenance Costs and TCO by More Than 50 Percent

Munhowen, a leading Luxembourg beverage distributor, decided to replace its existing IT environment. By selecting Oracle technology, including Oracle Real Application Clusters, Oracle Enterprise Manager, Oracle Linux and Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances, the company was able to enhance system performance and reduce maintenance costs associated with sustaining an optimal hardware environment.

Jean-Pierre Rasquin, CIO, Munhowen, explains: “Implementing Oracle Real Application Clusters, Oracle Enterprise Manager, and Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance helped us to significantly increase our IT environment’s availability, scalability, and manageability—providing superior support, tailored to our business needs, while helping us to reduce maintenance costs.” Read the press release.

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Friday Mar 28, 2014

Oracle Database 2 Day + Performance Tuning Guide

Great Resource for Learning Oracle Database 12c and Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c

The guide includes coverage of Oracle Diagnostics Pack and Oracle Tuning Pack features such as Automatic Database Diagnostic Monitor (ADDM), Active Session History (ASH) Analytics, SQL Tuning Advisor, Real-time SQL Monitoring and more. Download the PDF or HTML verision.

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Thursday Mar 27, 2014

Cisco Improves Service Quality with Self-Managing Automation

Learn how Cisco improves its database application service delivery using Oracle Enterprise Manager.


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Wednesday Mar 26, 2014

Infographic: Database Manageability—Getting Ahead of the Curve

As a DBA, getting ahead of the demands of the job are challenging enough, day in and day out. A recent IOUG survey on database management sheds new light on some of the top challenges facing administrators. Here's an infographic breakdown on what you need to know.

Download the IOUG Survey.

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Tuesday Mar 25, 2014

Demo: Setting Up a Database Cloud Self Service Portal for Data Cloning Using Snap Clone

This demo shows how to setup a database cloud self service portal for data cloning using Snap Clone in Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c.

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Tuesday Mar 18, 2014

Oracle OpenWorld 2014 Call for Proposals is now open!

It's that time of year again...the Oracle OpenWorld 2014 Call for Proposals is now open!

Information about the OpenWorld 2014 Call for Proposals is available at the following URL:

http://www.oracle.com/openworld/call-for-papers/index.html

We are told the Call for Proposals will remain open from March 18th until April 15th, 2014.   

We've got a tough act to follow this year for OpenWorld 2014, because last year at OpenWorld 2013, we shattered all previous records for customer and partner participation in Oracle Enterprise Manager activities.  We were thrilled to showcase such a diverse set of customer case studies, best practices and expert advice across a wide variety of Oracle Enterprise Manager disciplines.  A few of last year's highlights are captured in earlier editions of this blog, but there were many, many more:

We take the opportunity to showcase our customers and partners very seriously, and encourage both experienced and new presenters to participate.  We promise to review all submissions carefully.  

Please take this opportunity to make OpenWorld 2014 an even better event for you and for Oracle Enterprise Manager by submitting your proposal before April 15.

Thanks in advance for your creativity and enthusiasm.  We look forward to reading your proposals.

 

Monday Mar 17, 2014

Installing a JDBC patch to an EM agent

If you have an Enterprise Manager 12c Release 3 or older agent monitoring database targets, Support may recommend that you install a JDBC (Java database connectivity) patch, such as patch 17591700, to prevent high CPU consumption by the agent.


JDBC patches, including 17591700, have readme files containing instructions for installing the patches to a database, not to an EM agent. This post provides an example of how to install a JDBC patch to an EM agent. It walks through the steps of installing patch 17591700 to an EM12c Release3 agent.


Here are the steps:

1.  Identify the version of the JDBC client in the Agent Binaries home.

  • Set the ORACLE_HOME environment variable to the Agent Binaries home.

$ setenv ORACLE_HOME /u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0


Note: One way to find out the Agent Binaries home is to look in file /etc/oragchomelist on the agent host. It should contain an entry for an agent install in the format of:

<Agent Binaries home>:<Agent home>

For example, file /etc/oragchomelist contains:

/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0:/u01/em12/agent_inst



  • Run the following command to identify the version of the JDBC client.

$ $ORACLE_HOME/OPatch/opatch lsinv -details | grep 'Oracle JDBC/OCI Instant Client'
Oracle JDBC/OCI Instant Client           11.1.0.7.0

In this case, the version of the JDBC client is 11.1.0.7.0.


2.  Download the patch from MOS (My Oracle Support) website. The version of the JDBC client should match the version of the database for which the patch is intended. Stage the patch zip file, p17591700_111070_Generic.zip, on the agent host. I stage the patch in directory /u01/stage/jdbc_patch. I will refer to this location as the patch stage directory.


3.  Go to the patch stage directory and extract files from the zip file.

$ cd /u01/stage/jdbc_patch

$ unzip p17591700_111070_Generic.zip

Archive: p17591700_111070_Generic.zip

creating: 17591700/

inflating: 17591700/README.txt

creating: 17591700/files/

creating: 17591700/files/jdbc/

creating: 17591700/files/jdbc/lib/

inflating: 17591700/etc/xml/GenericActions.xml

inflating: 17591700/etc/xml/ShiphomeDirectoryStructure.xml


4.  Stop the agent.

$ /u01/em12/agent_inst/bin/emctl stop agent

Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 3

Copyright (c) 1996, 2013 Oracle Corporation. All rights reserved.

Stopping agent ..... stopped.


5.  Install the patch.

  • Go to the <patch stage directory>/<patch number>.

$ cd /u01/stage/jdbc_patch/17591700

  • Run opatch apply command.

$ $ORACLE_HOME/OPatch/opatch apply

Oracle Interim Patch Installer version 11.1.0.10.0

Copyright (c) 2013, Oracle Corporation. All rights reserved.

Oracle Home : /u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0

Central Inventory : /u01/app/oraInventory

from : /u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/oraInst.loc

OPatch version : 11.1.0.10.0

OUI version : 11.1.0.11.0

Log file location : /u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/cfgtoollogs/opatch/17591700_Mar_17_2014_12_03_05/apply2014-03-17_12-03-05PM_1.log

Applying interim patch '17591700' to OH '/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0'

Verifying environment and performing prerequisite checks...

Patch 17591700: Optional component(s) missing : [ oracle.dbjava.jdbc, 11.1.0.7.0 ]

Interim patch 17591700 is a superset of the patch(es) [ 16087066 ] in the Oracle Home

OPatch will roll back the subset patches and apply the given patch.

All checks passed.

Backing up files...

Rolling back interim patch '16087066' from OH '/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0'

Patching component oracle.dbjava.ic, 11.1.0.7.0...

Updating jar file "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/jdbc/lib/ojdbc6.jar" with "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/.patch_storage/16087066_Feb_4_2013_04_52_18/files//jdbc/lib/ojdbc6.jar/oracle/jdbc/aq/AQNotificationEvent$EventType.class"

Updating jar file "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/jdbc/lib/ojdbc6.jar" with "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/.patch_storage/16087066_Feb_4_2013_04_52_18/files//jdbc/lib/ojdbc6.jar/oracle/jdbc/aq/AQNotificationEvent.class"

Updating jar file "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/jdbc/lib/ojdbc6.jar" with "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/.patch_storage/16087066_Feb_4_2013_04_52_18/files//jdbc/lib/ojdbc6.jar/oracle/jdbc/dcn/DatabaseChangeEvent$AdditionalEventType.class"

Updating jar file "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/jdbc/lib/ojdbc6.jar" with "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/.patch_storage/16087066_Feb_4_2013_04_52_18/files//jdbc/lib/ojdbc6.jar/oracle/jdbc/dcn/DatabaseChangeEvent$EventType.class"

Updating jar file "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/jdbc/lib/ojdbc6.jar" with "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/.patch_storage/16087066_Feb_4_2013_04_52_18/files//jdbc/lib/ojdbc6.jar/oracle/jdbc/dcn/DatabaseChangeEvent.class"

Updating jar file "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/jdbc/lib/ojdbc6.jar" with "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/.patch_storage/16087066_Feb_4_2013_04_52_18/files//jdbc/lib/ojdbc6.jar/oracle/jdbc/driver/NTFAQEvent.class"

Updating jar file "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/jdbc/lib/ojdbc6.jar" with "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/.patch_storage/16087066_Feb_4_2013_04_52_18/files//jdbc/lib/ojdbc6.jar/oracle/jdbc/driver/NTFConnection.class"

Updating jar file "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/jdbc/lib/ojdbc6.jar" with "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/.patch_storage/16087066_Feb_4_2013_04_52_18/files//jdbc/lib/ojdbc6.jar/oracle/jdbc/driver/NTFDCNEvent.class"

Updating jar file "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/jdbc/lib/ojdbc6.jar" with "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/.patch_storage/16087066_Feb_4_2013_04_52_18/files//jdbc/lib/ojdbc6.jar/oracle/jdbc/driver/NTFManager.class"

Updating jar file "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/jdbc/lib/ojdbc6.jar" with "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/.patch_storage/16087066_Feb_4_2013_04_52_18/files//jdbc/lib/ojdbc6.jar/oracle/jdbc/driver/T4CConnection.class"

Updating jar file "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/jdbc/lib/ojdbc6.jar" with "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/.patch_storage/16087066_Feb_4_2013_04_52_18/files//jdbc/lib/ojdbc6.jar/oracle/jdbc/driver/T4CTTIokpn.class"

Updating jar file "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/jdbc/lib/ojdbc5.jar" with "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/.patch_storage/16087066_Feb_4_2013_04_52_18/files//jdbc/lib/ojdbc5.jar/oracle/jdbc/aq/AQNotificationEvent$EventType.class"

Updating jar file "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/jdbc/lib/ojdbc5.jar" with "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/.patch_storage/16087066_Feb_4_2013_04_52_18/files//jdbc/lib/ojdbc5.jar/oracle/jdbc/aq/AQNotificationEvent.class"

Updating jar file "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/jdbc/lib/ojdbc5.jar" with "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/.patch_storage/16087066_Feb_4_2013_04_52_18/files//jdbc/lib/ojdbc5.jar/oracle/jdbc/dcn/DatabaseChangeEvent$AdditionalEventType.class"

Updating jar file "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/jdbc/lib/ojdbc5.jar" with "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/.patch_storage/16087066_Feb_4_2013_04_52_18/files//jdbc/lib/ojdbc5.jar/oracle/jdbc/dcn/DatabaseChangeEvent$EventType.class"

Updating jar file "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/jdbc/lib/ojdbc5.jar" with "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/.patch_storage/16087066_Feb_4_2013_04_52_18/files//jdbc/lib/ojdbc5.jar/oracle/jdbc/dcn/DatabaseChangeEvent.class"

Updating jar file "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/jdbc/lib/ojdbc5.jar" with "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/.patch_storage/16087066_Feb_4_2013_04_52_18/files//jdbc/lib/ojdbc5.jar/oracle/jdbc/driver/NTFAQEvent.class"

Updating jar file "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/jdbc/lib/ojdbc5.jar" with "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/.patch_storage/16087066_Feb_4_2013_04_52_18/files//jdbc/lib/ojdbc5.jar/oracle/jdbc/driver/NTFConnection.class"

Updating jar file "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/jdbc/lib/ojdbc5.jar" with "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/.patch_storage/16087066_Feb_4_2013_04_52_18/files//jdbc/lib/ojdbc5.jar/oracle/jdbc/driver/NTFDCNEvent.class"

Updating jar file "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/jdbc/lib/ojdbc5.jar" with "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/.patch_storage/16087066_Feb_4_2013_04_52_18/files//jdbc/lib/ojdbc5.jar/oracle/jdbc/driver/NTFManager.class"

Updating jar file "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/jdbc/lib/ojdbc5.jar" with "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/.patch_storage/16087066_Feb_4_2013_04_52_18/files//jdbc/lib/ojdbc5.jar/oracle/jdbc/driver/T4CConnection.class"

Updating jar file "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/jdbc/lib/ojdbc5.jar" with "/u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/.patch_storage/16087066_Feb_4_2013_04_52_18/files//jdbc/lib/ojdbc5.jar/oracle/jdbc/driver/T4CTTIokpn.class"

RollbackSession removing interim patch '16087066' from inventory

OPatch back to application of the patch '17591700' after auto-rollback.

Patching component oracle.dbjava.ic, 11.1.0.7.0...

Verifying the update...

Patch 17591700 successfully applied

Log file location: /u01/em12/core/12.1.0.3.0/cfgtoollogs/opatch/17591700_Mar_17_2014_12_03_05/apply2014-03-17_12-03-05PM_1.log

OPatch succeeded


6. Start the agent.

$ /u01/em12/agent_inst/bin/emctl start agent

Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 3

Copyright (c) 1996, 2013 Oracle Corporation. All rights reserved.

Starting agent ............. started.


The above step completes the process of installing patch 17591700 to the 12.1.0.3 agent.

Thursday Feb 27, 2014

Fast Recovery Area for Archive Destination


If you are using Fast Recovery Area (FRA) for the archive destination and the destination is set to USE_DB_RECOVERY_FILE_DEST, you may notice that the Archive Area % Used metric does not trigger anymore. Instead you will see the Recovery Area % Used metric trigger when it hits a Warning threshold of 85% full, and Critical of 97% full. As this metric is controlled by the server side database thresholds it cannot be modified by Enterprise Manager (see MOS Note 428473.1 for more information). Thresholds of 85/97 are not sufficient for some of the larger, busier databases. This may not give you enough time to kickoff a backup and clear enough logs before the archiver hangs. If you need different thresholds, you can easily accomplish this by creating a Metric Extension (ME) and setting thresholds to your desired values.  This blog will walk through an example of creating an ME to monitor archive on FRA destinations, for more information on ME's and how they can be used, refer to the Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control Administrator's Guide

[Read More]

Tuesday Feb 25, 2014

Focus on Oracle Applications Management at Collaborate14

There is a lot of focus on advanced management tools in Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c (EMCC) for Oracle Applications at Collaborate14!

For the purposes of this article, "Oracle Applications" refers to Fusion Applications, E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, Siebel, and J.D. Edwards EnterpriseOne. The cornerstone of Oracle’s strategy for managing their Applications is Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control and the Application Management Suites (AMS). AMS allows customers to achieve a high level of application performance, introspection, and availability, while reducing the costs associated with managing these Applications. There are a number of sessions that showcase these products at Collaborate14, including:

There is a lot of focus on advanced management tools in Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c (EMCC) for Oracle Applications at Collaborate14!

For the purposes of this article, "Oracle Applications" refers to Fusion Applications, E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, Siebel, and J.D. Edwards EnterpriseOne. The cornerstone of Oracle’s strategy for managing their Applications is Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control and the Application Management Suites (AMS). AMS allows customers to achieve a high level of application performance, introspection, and availability, while reducing the costs associated with managing these Applications.

Below is a listing of the Apps Management sessions. To get the detailed abstracts, go to the Collaborate14 Session Scheduler and provide the Session ID in the search box.  A complete listing of all Enterprise Manager activities at Collaborate14 is located here.

Title Date & Time Room Session ID
Workshop: Simplify, Automate, and Enhance Management of E-Business Suite (EBS) Applications

Monday, April 7

1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Level 1

Sands 101

15526
Oracle Presentation: Oracle E-Business Suite Plug-In for Enterprise Manager – Features and Roadmap

Thursday, April 11

4:15 PM - 5:15 PM

Level 1

Sands 309

15260
Customer Presentation: PeopleSoft Application and System Monitoring Basics

Wednesday, April 9

4:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Level 4

Marcello 4405

101140
Oracle Presentation: Migrating From Applications Unlimited (E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, Siebel) to Fusion Applications

Thursday, April 10

8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

Level 1

Casanova 605

15254
SIG Meeting: OAUG Enterprise Manager Informational Session/SIG Formation

Thursday, April 10

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Level 1

Marco Polo 703

15368

Note that Monday's Workshop environments for the hands-on portion are provided by Apps Associates, an Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c "Specialized" partner. These environments are provisioned using an Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform. More about Apps Associates is at www.appsassociates.com and info about their AWS Test Drive Labs is at www.appsassociates.com/awslabs

Finally, one sure place that you can always get the latest information is at our Kiosk #7 “Total Control for Oracle Applications” located in the Applications area of the Oracle Demogrounds. Be sure to stop by the kiosk to speak with our Application management experts.  A complete listing of all Enterprise Manager activities at Collaborate14 is available here.

We look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas!

Tuesday Feb 18, 2014

Monitoring Archive Area % Used on Cluster Databases


One of the most critical events to monitor on an Oracle Database is your archive area. If the archive area fills up, your database will halt until it can continue to archive the redo logs. If your archive destination is set to a file system, then the Archive Area % Used metric is often the best way to go. This metric allows you to monitor a particular file system for the percentage space that has been used. However, there are a couple of things to be aware of for this critical metric.

Cluster Database vs. Database Instance

You will notice in EM 12c, the Archive Area metric exists on both the Cluster Database and the Database Instance targets. The majority of Cluster Databases (RAC) are built against database best practices which indicate that the Archive destination should be shared read/write between all instances. The purpose for this is that in case of recovery, any instance can perform the recovery and has all necessary archive logs to do so. Monitoring this destination for a Cluster Database at the instance level caused duplicate alerts and notifications, as both instances would hit the Warning/Critical threshold for Archive Area % Used within minutes of each other. To eliminate duplicate notifications, the Archive Area % Used metric for Cluster Databases was introduced. This allows the archive destination to be monitored at a database level, much like tablespaces are monitored in a RAC database.

In the Database Instance (RAC Instance) target, you will notice the Archive Area % Used metric collection schedule is set to Disabled.

If you have a RAC database and you do not share archive destinations between instances, you will want to Disable the Cluster Database metric, and enable the Database Instance metric to ensure that each destination is monitored individually.


Friday Feb 14, 2014

WEBCAST: Accelerate Database Testing for Improved Agility

Accelerate Database Testing for Improved Agility and Cost Savings


Wednesday, February 26, 2014
10:00 AM PST | 1:00 PM EST


Join us in a webcast to learn how Oracle Real Application Testing—an Oracle Database 12c, Enterprise Edition option and Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c—work together to provide an easy-to-use solution for making changes to your mission-critical database. Learn from Oracle experts about the new Oracle Real Application Testing capability, SQL Performance Analyzer (SPA) Quick Check. It lets DBAs run quick validations on production databases for any system change.

Discover how SPA Quick Check helps to:

  • Safely test and deploy system changes using real workloads
  • Test consolidation scenarios for better resource management
  • Improve the quality of service for business agility and uptime
  • Reduce administrative effort and risks for database changes

Register now.

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Thursday Feb 13, 2014

Steps to Fast Track your Database Cloud implementation on Exadata

Oracle Exadata Database Machine is the ideal consolidation platform for Enterprise Database Cloud and Oracle Enterprise Manager provides the most optimized and comprehensive solution to rapidly setup, manage and deliver Enterprise Clouds. Clearly, very significant innovations have been delivered via Exadata X4, Enterprise Manager 12c and Database 12c in Cloud Computing space and customers can start realizing benefits from this combination of most powerful and unique enterprise database cloud solution in industry.

As per OracleVoice blog on Forbes.com:  "Why Database As A Service (DBaaS) Will Be The Breakaway Technology of 2014":

"Database as a Service (DBaaS) is arguably the next big thing in IT. Indeed, the market analysis firm 451 Research projects an astounding 86% cumulative annual growth rate, with annual revenues from DBaaS providers rising from $150 million in 2012 to $1.8 billion by 2016."

In this blog post, I will walk through the steps aiming to simplify DBaaS Setup on Exadata and also describe automation kits available to achieve the following rapidly -

  • Setup Monitoring and Management of Exadata Database Machine platform in EM 12c
  • Setup and Deliver DBaaS on Exadata using EM 12c
  • Manage and Optimize Exadata and EM 12c powered DBaaS cloud platform on an ongoing basis



There are 2 separate automation kits that are provided with EM 12c, first kit is for enabling rapid monitoring and management setup of Exadata stack in EM 12c and second kit is for rapid setup of DBaaS -

1) Deploy EM 12c site or use existing site - If you do not have existing EM 12c R3 setup, you can use EM Automation Kit for Exadata for installing EM 12c R3 Plug-in update 1. This kit is available via patch 17036016 on My Oracle Support(MOS) and can be used to deploy EM 12c latest release. Refer to Readme of patch and MOS note "Obtaining the Oracle Enterprise Manager Setup Automation kit for Exadata (Doc ID 1440951.1)" for additional details. Please note that this will setup EM12c Oracle Management Service along with Management Repository. It can be deployed on a single m/c or OMS and OMR can be setup on different machines.

2) Deploy EM 12cR3 agents and required plug-ins on Exadata Machine - Agent kit is also part of the same EM Automation Kit for Exadata and can be used for deploying agents and plug-ins on Exadata stack. Refer to MOS note "Obtaining the Oracle Enterprise Manager Setup Automation kit for Exadata (Doc ID 1440951.1)" for additional details. Best practice is to use most recent version of Agent kit and also deploy latest plug-ins. Patch details for respective platform are described in the MOS note.

Agent kit script will require Java 1.6.0_43 or greater version on database node where this script is being run. Agent kit script will need to be run as root OS user on Exadata db node, however JAVA_HOME and PATH with JAVA_HOME/bin should be set up as agent OS owner, so these OS env variables need to setup in profile of agent OS owner.

Agent Automation kit helps with achieving following -

  • EMCLI setup on Exadata Server
  • EM 12c R3 site compatibility checks
  • Setup and remove SSH between Exadata nodes to test SSH setup
  • Deploy EM 12c Agent and required Plugins on all DB Nodes of Exadata Machine
  • Confirm Exachk tool availability and run Exachk tool
  • Run Exadata Discovery Prerequisites
  • Discover Targets Cluster, Grid Infrastructure, RAC database and listener targets

Note - In case of Exadata X4, ensure you have the EM 12cR3 latest Bundle patch(released in January 2014). Refer to following MOS notes -
Enterprise Manager 12.1.0.3 Bundle Patch Master Note (Doc ID 1572022.1)
Enterprise Manager for Exadata Plug-in 12cR3 Bundle Patch Bug List (Doc ID 1613177.1)

3) Discover Grid Infrastructure and RAC targets – Above setup script will discover Targets Cluster, Grid Infrastructure, RAC database and listener targets. Discover Grid Infrastructure, ASM and RAC targets manually if required.

4) Please note that this setup script will not discover Oracle Exadata Database machine target in EM 12c. You need to discover the machine using following steps

  • From the Setup menu, select Add Targets, then select “Add targets Manually”.
  • In the “Add Targets Manually” page, select 'Add Targets Using Guided Process (Also Adds Related Targets)' and Target Type as Oracle Exadata Database Machine.
  • Click Add Using Guided Discovery and follow the wizard.


5) Setup Database Cloud Using Rapid Start Kit - Once you have setup Exadata management in EM 12c, next step is to setup database cloud. Refer to Rapid Start Kit for setting up cloud for both DBaaS and Pluggable DBaaS/PDBaaS. This kit will help achieve the following -

  • Create Cloud Admin, SSA Admin and SSA User custom roles
  • Create Cloud Admin, SSA Admin and SSA Users
  • Grant Quota to SSA User custom roles
  • Setup Zones with Placement Policy Constraints
  • Setup Pools with Placement Constraints
  • Setup Service Template/Catalog and grant it SSA User custom roles.

Here are brief steps for setting up Database Cloud using Rapid start Kit, available in EM Agent Kit 12.1.0.3.0, after login to Exadata machine first DB node as EM 12c agent owner

  • Change to <location where Agent kit is unzipped>/cloudsetup directory.
  • Review the input files under config directory and customize the dbaas_cloud_input.xml for configuring DBaaS cloud and pdbaas_cloud_input.xml for configuring Pluggable Database as a Service.
  • Run the following command to setup DBaaS on Exadata Machine.
<EMCLI Home>/emcli login -username=sysman
<EMCLI Home>/emcli @exadata_cloud_setup.py –dbaas
Above command will use dbaas_cloud_input.xml (under cloudsetup/config) as input file for configuring DBaaS. 
  • To setup PDBaaS on Exadata, please use following command.
<EMCLI Home>/emcli @exadata_cloud_setup.py –pdbaas
Above command will use pdbaas_cloud_input.xml (under cloudsetup/config) as input file for configuring PDBaaS

Note: Currently Rapid Start kit for DBaaS makes use of 11.2.0.3.0 Database "Exadata Data Warehouse" Profile available out-of-box. However you can create your own DBCA based Profiles and customize the dbaas_cloud_input.xml. Also if you need to use RMAN backup based or Snap clone based profile, you can to login to EM12c SSA Portal as SSA Administrator, to create the profile and setup service template. 

At this stage, you will be able to manage and deliver your Exadata powered enterprise database cloud using EM 12c.

Additional References:

Obtaining the Oracle Enterprise Manager Setup Automation kit for Exadata (Doc ID 1440951.1)

Oracle® Enterprise Manager Cloud Administration Guide12c Release 3 (12.1.0.3)

Oracle® Enterprise Manager Exadata Management Getting Started Guide Release 12.1.0.5.0


Friday Feb 07, 2014

VIDEO: Nationwide Deploys Database Applications 600% Faster

Watch the latest Nationwide video to see how they saved administrative time and effort using Oracle Enterprise Manager.



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Thursday Jan 30, 2014

Oracle Enterprise Manager Helps Manage Systems for Gaia Mission

The Italian National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF) has selected Oracle to store, analyze and manage scientific data generated from the European Space Agency's Gaia mission. The mission sets out to provide in-depth 3-D mapping of the Milky Way galaxy over the course of the next 5 years. An estimated 1 petabyte of astronomical data (equivalent to 1 million gigabytes) will be collected and stored in Oracle Database with Oracle Enterprise Manager entrusted to manage the system.

The goal of the Gaia mission will give researchers a better understanding into how the Milky Way was formed and how it has evolved over time. According to Roberto Morbidelli, Scientific Operation Manager at INAF, "Our activity within the Gaia mission will provide a huge volume of information, a very precious heritage of astronomical data that will have to be stored for the whole 21st century and beyond. Oracle has demonstrated in other research contexts that it would be the ideal technological partner to manage scientific projects of this kind of size. Thus we are sure that it will be a successful choice for INAF too. Oracle has been selected for its technology’s reliability, scalability, availability and the appropriate technological evolution planned in the next years; also key was the competence showed by Oracle experts in the development of features useful to our research.”

Oracle Enterprise Manager will be deployed to help manage the multiple Oracle Database instances and Oracle Real Application Clusters. Oracle Enterprise Manager will be used to ensure reliable access to Gaia mission data, allowing for numerous third-party applications and systems that control and verify the correct functioning of satellites and astronomical instruments.

“We are proud to offer our technology to the Gaia mission, an international research project that is of both major importance and high ambition,” said Xavier Verhaeghe, Vice President, Technology & Big Data Oracle EMEA. “INAF’s choice is another confirmation of Oracle’s ability to easily manage the extreme challenges involved in processing petabytes of Big Data."

Follow the Gaia Mission on Facebook.
Read the press release.


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Tuesday Jan 28, 2014

Oracle Enterprise Manager at Collaborate 14

Updated March 28, 2014

Below is a complete list of all Enterprise Manager related sessions and activities.  Detailed abstracts are available by going to the Collaborate14 Session Scheduler and providing Title or Session ID in the search box.

You may also be interested in these two related blogs: Focus on Oracle Applications Management at Collaborate and Oracle PartnerNetwork at Collaborate 14.

Monday April 7 - Pre-Conference Day
Title Time Room Session ID Speaker
Workshop: Cloud Odyssey

9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Level 3 Lido 3003

931

Oracle Team
Workshop: Simplify, Automate, and Enhance Management of E-Business Suite (EBS) Applications

1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Level 1 Sands 101

15526

Ken Baxter & Angelo Rosado - Oracle (with Apps Associates)

Workshop: Database Lifecycle Management

9:00 AM - Noon

Level 1 Murano 3203

936
Michael Smith & Hari Srinivasan - Oracle
Title Time Room Session ID Speaker

Tuesday April 8 - Day One
Oracle NoSQL Database 3.0 release feature review

10:15 AM - 11:15 AM

Level 3 Murano 3203

478

Robert Greene - Oracle

Expert Session: Making Sense of the Stereo Instructions. A Walk Through of Setting Up Metrics and Monitoring in Enterprise Manager

10:15 AM - 12:30 PM

Level 3 Lido 3105

980

David Start - Johnson Controls

Quicktip: Data Guard and Oracle Database Server 12c

12:45 PM - 1:15 PM

Level 3 Lido 3103

366

Edward Whalen - Performance Tuning

Quicktip: Fundamental Administration and Management Concepts for WebLogic Server

12:45 PM - 1:15 PM

Level 3 Murano 3206

245

Abhay Kumar - Application Software Technology

Quicktip: High Availability for Oracle Database as a Service (DBaaS) on VMware

12:45 PM - 1:15 PM

Level 3 Lido 3101b

735

Nathan Owen - Blue Medora

Quicktip: Use Cloud Control 12c Corrective Action to be Proactive

12:45 PM - 1:15 PM

Level 3 Lido 3105

127

Javier Ruiz - Database Administration Services

PeopleSoft Application and System Monitoring Basics

1:45 PM - 2:45 PM

Level 4 Marcello 4401A

101140

Raj Garrepally - Georgia Health Sciences Univ

Expert Session: The Best Oracle Database 12c New Features

1:45 PM - 4:00 PM

Level 3 Lido 3005

725

Rich Niemiec - ROLTA

Exadata 101 – What You Need to Know

4:15 PM - 5:15 PM

Level 3 San Polo 3403

733

Rich Niemiec - ROLTA

Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c - Top 10 Features for DBAs

4:15 PM - 5:15 PM

Level 3 Lido 3105

582

Leighton Nelson - Mercy

Deep Dive into ASH and AWR

5:30 PM - 6:30 PM

Level 3 Lido 3003

434

Kellyn Pot'Vin - Oracle

Managing Database Cloud with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Snap Clone and Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance

5:30 PM - 6:30 PM

Level 3 Lido 3105

497

Wendy Chen - Oracle

Delivering Self-service Cloud Application Services Based Using Enterprise Manager 12c

5:30 PM - 6:30 PM

Level 3 Lido 3101B

393

Kai Yu - Dell

Welcome Reception

Enterprise Manager Demos:

  • Total Control for Private Cloud (Technology Area)
  • Total Control for Oracle Applications (Applications Area)

6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Exhibit Hall - Oracle Demogrounds


Oracle Enterprise Manager Team

Title Time Room Session ID Speaker

Wednesday April 9 - Day Two
DBA 101 : Calling all New Database Administrators

8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

Level 3 Lido 3005

574

Gustavo Antunez - Pythian

Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c High Availability – Lessons Learned

8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

Level 3 Lido 3105

438

Eric Siglin - Smartdog

Enterprise Manager Demos:

  • Total Control for Private Cloud (Technology Area)
  • Total Control for Oracle Applications (Applications Area)

10:45 AM - 4:00 PM

Exhibit Hall - Oracle Demogrounds


Oracle Enterprise Manager Team

Automatic Diagnostic Repository -- Best Practices

11:00 AM - Noon

Level 3 Lido 3005

2266

Michael Nelson - Northrup Grumman

Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c: Design, Install, Configure and Manage

11:00 AM - Noon

Level 3 Lido 3105

884

Tom Reddy - Database Administration, Inc.

Oracle EM FeatureTalk #1

12:15 PM - 12:45 PM

Level 3 Lido 3105

914

IOUG EM SIG

Mastering Enterprise Manager 12c

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Level 3 Lido 3105

408

Kellyn Pot'Vin - Oracle

Ensure HA in Database Cloud with Oracle Database 12c:What to do and how to do it

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Level 3 Lido 3101B

398

Kai Yu - Dell

Enterprise Manager Extensibility

4:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Level 3 Lido 3105

112

Ray Smith - Portland General Electric (PGE)

DBaaS- Database as a Service in a DBAs World

4:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Level 3 Lido 3101B

428

Kellyn Pot'Vin - Oracle

Validate extended distance DR workloads for RAC and DataGuard using Real Application Testing and virtualization at little to no cost

4:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Level 3 Lido 3001A

883

Marlin McNeil - Yucca Group

Happy Hour

Enterprise Manager Demos:

  • Total Control for Private Cloud (Technology Area)
  • Total Control for Oracle Applications (Applications Area)

5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Exhibit Hall - Oracle Demogrounds


Oracle Enterprise Manager Team

Title Time Room Session ID Speaker

Thursday April 10 - Day Three
Performance visualizations – One picture worth 1000 words

8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

Level 3 Lido 3003

2159

Amihay Gonen - Dell

Oracle12c New Features for DBA's

8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

Level 3 Lido 3103

150

Dan Hotka - Independent

Diagnosing and Tuning Enterprise Manager

8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

Level 3 Lido 3105

293

Courtney Llamas - Oracle

Tuning Oracle Using 12c Cloud Control

8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

Level 3 Lido 3101B

756

Rich Niemiec - ROLTA

Automatic Diagnostic Repository (ADR) - The new tool; how can it help you troubleshoot your databases

8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

Level 3 Lido 3001A

485

Michael Nelson - Northrup Grumman

Migrating From Applications Unlimited (E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, Siebel) to Fusion Applications

8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

Level 1 Casanova 605

15254

Anish Desai - Oracle

Taming the AWR Tsunami

9:45 AM - 10:45 AM

Level 3 Lido 3003

667

Roger Cornejo - GlaxoSmithKline

Learn what it takes to manage the Oracle 12c Database in the Cloud

9:45 AM - 10:45 AM

Level 3 Lido 3101B

881

Natik Ameen - VitalSoftTech

Python and EMCLI; The Enterprise Management Super Tools

9:45 AM - 10:45 AM

Level 3 Lido 3105

227

Seth Miller - Collier IT

Enterprise Manager Demos:

  • Total Control for Private Cloud (Technology Area)
  • Total Control for Oracle Applications (Applications Area)

10:45 AM - 3:00 PM

Exhibit Hall - Oracle Demogrounds


Oracle Enterprise Manager Team

What changed the SQL Performance? A Structured Approach to Understanding and Identifying the Root Cause

11:00 AM - Noon

Level 3 Lido 3005

945

Tony Jambu - Wizard Consulting

Cloud SIG: Understanding Cloud and DBaaS Strategies, Best Practices, Skill Sets

11:00 AM - Noon

Level 3 Lido 3101B

713

George Trujillo, Kai Yu, Charles Kim, Ron Batra

Quicktip: Calculating OS CPU Utilization From V$ Views, AWR, and Statspack

12:15 PM - 12:45 PM

Level 3 Lido 3003

982

Craig Shallahamer - OraPub

Quicktip: How many ways can I monitor Oracle Golden Gate?

12:15 PM - 12:45 PM

Level 3 Lido 3001A

203

Bobby Curtis - Enkitec

Oracle EM FeatureTalk #2

12:15 PM - 12:45 PM

Level 3 Lido 3105

699

IOUG EM SIG

Extending Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Features/Functionality: Oracle Application Express

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Level 3 Lido 3105

877

Todd Bellaver - Secure-24

SIG Meeting: OAUG Enterprise Manager Informational Session/SIG Formation

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Level 1 Marco Polo 703

15368

James Lui - Aramark

Mining the AWR Repository to Find Unreported Performance Problems

4:15 PM - 5:15 PM

Level 3 Lido 3005

373

Wayne Sharp - Union Gas

Oracle E-Business Suite Plug-In for Enterprise Manager – Features and Roadmap

4:15 PM - 5:15 PM

Level 1 Sands 309

15260

Angelo Rosado - Oracle

IOUG Enterprise Manager SIG "Birds of a Feather" Happy Hour Reception

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Level 3 Toscana 3701


612


IOUG EM SIG


Title Time Room Session ID Speaker

Friday April 11 - Day Four (Final Day)
Capacity Planning: How to Leverage OEM12c for Engineered Systems

8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

Level 3 Lido 3105

102

Maaz Anjum - BIAS

Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c, Oracle Database 12c, and You!

9:45 AM - 10:45 AM

Level 3 Lido 3103

200

Bobby Curtis - Enkitec

Using the Oracle Database Diagnostic and Tuning Packs through OEM 12c

9:45 AM - 10:45 AM

Level 3 Lido 3105

440

Eric Siglin - Smartdog

Saving Time and Improving Agility Using OEM to Build, Manage and Report on Your Private Cloud

9:45 AM - 10:45 AM

Level 3 Lido 3101B

563

Erik Benner - BIAS

Oracle Exadata Management Deep Dive with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c

11:00 AM - Noon

Level 3 Lido 3105

833

Ashish Agrawal - Oracle

Database Provisioning in OEM12c: Provision me a Database Now!

12:15 PM - 1:15 PM

Level 3 Lido 3105

602

Maaz Anjum - BIAS

Monday Jan 27, 2014

IOUG Oracle EM SIG Techcast: Managing Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c with Oracle Clusterware


The Oracle Enterprise Manager Special Interest Group (SIG) is a growing body of IOUG members who manage or are interested in all aspects of Oracle Enterprise Manager. This IOUG SIG is managed by volunteers and supported by Oracle Enterprise Manager product managers and developers. The purpose of the SIG is to bring relevant information and education through webcasts, discussions and networking to users interested in learning more about the product, and to share user experiences.

On January 28th at 10 AM pacific time, Oracle Enterprise Manager SIG is hosting a webcast on "Managing Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c with Oracle Clusterware". In this webcast, Leighton Nelson, Associate Principal Database Administrator/Oracle ACE will discusss the steps required to configure virtual host names and create an Oracle Clusterware resource for Oracle Enterprise Manager to provide seamless failover and improved high availability levels.


Register Now !

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Wednesday Jan 15, 2014

Oracle Enterprise Manager Snap Clone Webcast Replay and Slides

Thank you to all who attended our webcast on Enterprise Manager 12c Snap Clone last month. In this webcast, we talked about how EM12c Snap Clone can help:

  • Leverage storage copy-on-write technologies for rapid provisioning
  • Integrate cloning with other Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Lifecycle Management features, such as data masking and sub-setting
  • “Time travel” across multiple database snapshots to restore and access past data
  • Reduced administrative overhead from integrated lifecycle management

 For those who missed this webcast, the replay is available here and the slides have been uploaded to slideshare.

Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions on Snap Clone or Database as a Service.

- Adeesh Fulay (@adeeshf)


Tuesday Jan 07, 2014

Create a Database Instance without DB Control Schema

When using Database Configuration Assistant (DBCA) to create a database instance to house the repository of Enterprise Manager Cloud Control, people often end up with an instance containing DB Control schema, and they have to remove the schema from the instance before installing EM12c. To create an instance without DB Control or SYSMAN schema in the first place, make the following selections in the DBCA database creation process.


1. In the Database Template step, select the Custom Database option.



2. In the Management Options step, uncheck the Configure Enterprise Manager option.



Note: If DBCA locates an agent installation on the host, it will provide an option to register the database instance that you are creating with the corresponding Management Service. If you choose that option, DBCA will add the database instance to the Enterprise Manager site as a managed target upon completion of instance creation. This option, however, does not create SYSMAN schema in the database instance.



3. In the Database Content step, uncheck the Enterprise Manager Repository option.


Remember to make the above-mentioned selections, and you will have an instance without DB Control, which is fit for housing an EM repository.



Note: From EM12c Release 2, there is an option to create an 11.2.0.3 database instance with a pre-configured EM repository. For instructions see:

Creating a Database Instance with Preconfigured Repository Using Database Templates

Installing Oracle Database and Creating a Database


Thursday Jan 02, 2014

What is EM 12c DBaaS Snap Clone?

Happy New Year to all! Being the first blog post of the new year, lets look at a relatively new feature in EM that has gained significant popularity over the last year - EM 12c DBaaS Snap Clone.

The ‘Oracle Cloud Management Pack for Oracle Database’ a.k.a the Database as a Service (DBaaS) feature in EM 12c has grown tremendously since its release two years ago.  It started with basic single instance and RAC database provisioning, a technical service catalog, an out of box self service portal, metering and chargeback, etc. But since then we have added provisioning of schemas and pluggable databases, full clones using RMAN backups, and Snap Clone. This video showcases the various EM12c DBaaS features.

This blog will cover one of the most exciting and popular features – Snap Clone. In one line, Snap Clone is a self service way of creating rapid and space efficient clones of large (~TB) databases.

Self Service - empowers the end users (developers, testers, data analysts, etc) to get access to database clones whenever they need it.
Rapid - implies the time it takes to clone the database. This is in minutes and not hours, days, or weeks.
Space Efficient - represents the significant reduction in storage (>90%) required for cloning databases

Customer Scenario

To best explain the benefits of Snap Clone, let’s look at a Banking customer scenario:

  • 5 production databases total 30 TB of storage
  • All 5 production databases have a standby
  • Clones of the production database are required for data analysis and reporting
  • 6 total clones across different teams every quarter
  • For security reasons, sensitive data has to be masked prior to cloning

Based on the above scenario, the storage required, if using traditional cloning techniques, can be calculated as follows:

5 Prod DB                  = 30 TB
5 Standby DB            = 30 TB
5 Masked DB             = 30 TB (These will be used for creating clones)
6 Clones (6 * 30 TB) = 180 TB
                               ------------------
Total                           = 270 TB
Time = days to weeks

As the numbers indicate, this is quite horrible. Not only 30 TB turn into 270 TB, creating 6 clones of all production databases would take forever. In addition to this, there are other issues with data cloning like:

  • Lack of automation. Scripts are good but often not a long term solution.
  • Traditional cloning techniques are slow while, existing storage vendor solutions are DBA unfriendly
  • Data explosion often outpaces storage capacity and hurts ITs ability to provide clones for dev and testing
  • Archaic processes that require multiple users to share a single clone, or only supports fixed refresh cycles
  • Different priorities between DBAs and Storage admins

Snap Clone to the Rescue

All of the above issues lead to slow turnaround times, and users have to wait for days and weeks to get access to their databases. Basically, we end up with competing priorities and requirements, where the user demands self service access, rapid cloning, and the ability to revert data changes, while IT demands standardization, better control, reduction in storage and administrative overhead, better visibility into the database stack, etc.

EM 12c DBaaS Snap Clone tries to address all these issues. It provides:

  • Rapid and space efficient cloning of databases by leveraging storage copy-on-write (or similar) technology
  • Supports all database versions from 10g to 12c
  • Supports various storage vendors and configurations NAS and SAN
  • Lineage and association tracking between clone master and its various clones and snapshots
  • 'Time Travel' capability to restore and access past data
  • Deep visibility into storage, OS, and database layer for easy triage of performance and configuration issues
  • Simplified access for end user via out-of-the-box self service portal
  • RESTful APIs to integrate with custom portals and third party products
  • Ability to meter and charge back on the clone databases

So how does Snap Clone work?

The secret sauce lies in the Storage Management Framework (SMF) plug-in. This plug-in sits between the storage system and the DBA, and provides the much needed layer of abstraction required to shield DBAs and users from the nuances of the different storage systems. At the storage level, Snap Clone makes use of storage copy-on-write (or similar) technology. There are two options in terms of using and interacting with storage:

1. Direct connection to storage: Here storage admins can register NetApp and ZFS storage appliance with EM, and then EM directly connects to the storage appliance and performs all required snapshot and clone operations. This approach requires you to license the relevant options on the storage appliance, but is the easiest and the most efficient and fault tolerant approach.

2. Connection to storage via ZFS file system: This is a storage vendor agnostic solution and can be used by any customer. Here instead of connecting to storage, the storage admin mounts the volumes to a Solaris server and format it with ZFS file system. Now all snapshot and clone operations required on the storage are conducted via ZFS file system,. The good thing about this approach is that it does not require thin cloning options to be licensed on the storage since ZFS file system provides these capabilities.

For more details on how to setup and use Snap Clone, refer to a previous blog post.

Now, lets go back to our Banking customer scenario and see how Snap Clone helped then reduce their storage cost and time to clone.

5 Prod DB                      = 30 TB
5 Standby DB                 = 30 TB
5 Masked DB                 = 30 TB
6 Clones (6 * 30 TB)      = 180 TB
6 Clones (6 * 5 * 2 GB) = 60 GB
                                   ------------------
Total                               = 270 TB 90 TB
Time = days to weeks minutes

Assuming the clone databases will have minimal writes, we allocate about 2GB of write space per clone. For 5 production databases and 6 clones, this totals to just 60GB in required storage space. This is a whopping 99.97% savings in storage. Plus, these clones are created in matter of minutes and not the usual days or weeks. The product has out-of-the-box charts that show the storage savings across all storage devices and cloned databases. See the screenshot below.

Snap Clone Savings

Where can you use Snap Clone databases?

As i said earlier, Snap Clone is most effective when cloning large databases  (~TBs). Common scenarios we see our customers best use Snap Clone are:

  • Application upgrade testing. For example, EBusiness suite upgrade to R12.
  • Functional testing. For example, testing using production datasets.
  • Agile development. For example, run parallel development sprints by giving each sprint its own cloned database.
  • Data Analysis and Reporting. For example, stock market analysis at the close of market everyday.

Its obvious that Snap Clone has a strong affinity to applications, since its application data that you want to clone and use. Hence it is important to add that the Snap Clone feature when combined with EM12c middleware-as-a-service (MWaaS) can provide a complete end-to-end self service application deployment experience. If you have existing portals or need to integrate Snap Clone with existing processes, then use our RESTful APIs for easy integration with third party systems.

In summary, Snap Clone is a new and exciting way of dealing with data cloning challenges. It shields DBAs from the nuances of different storage systems, while allowing end users to request and use clones in a rapid and self service fashion. All of this while saving storage costs. So try this feature out today, and your development and test teams will thank you forever.

In subsequent blog posts, we will look at some popular deployment models used with Snap Clone.

-- Adeesh Fulay (@adeeshf)

Additional References

Cloud Management Page on OTN

Cloud Administration Guide (Documentation)

Enterprise Manager 12c Database-as-a-Service Snap Clone Overview (Presentation)

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